Job hunting is a skill in and of itself. Whether or not one can perform a job is almost irrelevant if they are unable to obtain the position in the first place. Writing an incredible cover letter is something that will make job seekers stand out from other applicants. This is a chance for applicants to make their skills and compatibility with a company shine.
With any good piece of writing, research is key. Before pen is put to pad...or more realistically, fingers to keyboard, you’ll want to gain as much knowledge about the company to which you’re applying as possible. The first place to start is the company website. It may sound like a lot, but read the entire site… then maybe even read it again. You should know what the company prides itself on, its values, its strengths and possibly even its weaknesses. If possible, glean the name of the hiring manager or someone to whom you can address the cover letter. Including a specific name gives the impression that you’ve done your research and are serious about getting the job.
List all of your information in the upper left hand corner. This includes your name, address, phone number and email address as well as the contact information of the employer you’re sending the cover letter to.
The first paragraph should be all about you. Make this information count! This is where you get to highlight things about yourself and show how you will fit into the big picture of the company. This section should be thought of as a place to show personality and talent, which are particularly useful to the hiring organization.
Use the second paragraph to highlight specific skills and expertise in relation to the work the company is doing.This is where you really sell yourself and explain why you would make such a valuable employee to the hiring organization. Again, the research you did earlier will prove invaluable for this section.
If needed, add a third paragraph as a continuation of the second. Three shorter paragraphs are oftentimes easier to read than two lengthier ones. It can also serve as a great way to break up information.
Lastly, wrap it up with a “call to action.” Be confident and express your request for an interview. Be sure to thank the reader for their time and conclude the letter.
After sending your initial email and cover letter, reaching out once more can make a big difference when it comes to getting that job. A good rule of thumb is to email the company a couple of weeks after you send out your resume and cover letter to make sure they were received. You can also make a good impression by sending a handwritten thank you note after an interview to thank the interviewer for their time. Even if you don’t get that specific job, there may be positions available in the future that you’ll be a better fit for, and leaving a good impression is always a step in the right direction.